Friday, September 01, 2006

How can you tell

when you've lived long enough in your house?

when you walk down a corridor and without blinking you go around every single planted object in your way... and then bump into a space that should empty and suddenly realise you woke up. When you dont even turn on the light when you pee. You stop seeing your walls. Instead you make an instant image of what is beyond it, on the other side. Or further. When you don't even count your socks but know exactly how many there are. Or when you don't, they just never seem to run out. When you can identify every single bump on the corners, relating them to a very specific person and situation. You don't notice it until someone asks you why your glasses are all different. And the dishes too. You're just not that anxious to paint over the flaky bits on your kitchen ceiling. They won't fall anytime soon anyway. You have pictures of dead relatives on your fridge window, from the time they sent them to you for Christmas. You know all your neighbours' names. And their children's just as well. You can't remember what it looked like when you moved in. You don't count the steps on your way to the door, your foot doesn't fail. The creeking doors are company. You've long stopped asking yourself if there might be intruders every night the floor creeks. You could walk blindfolded and not trip on the carpets or even bump your pinky toe on the corners of your tables. Not even on the one you usually hit. You keep in the back of your mind a map of the areas of the floor that creek when you step on them. Nothing is farther than an arm's lenght. The kitchen cupboard doors don't quite open so you've arranged your day-to-day things to be handy enough. Your apron is by the oven. Your shoes by the exit door. The telephone is next to the couch by the TV. Your plate is by the bed. The gun isn't really hidden. Neither are your secrets. You've left the old wallpaper on the spare room. As well as the extra roll of the new one. Somewhere. You laugh a little smile to the mirror everyday. Just as you do the window sills. And the bits of paint on the corners.